Since 2000, North Carolina’s immigrant population has grown faster than that of nearly every other state in the U.S. The new arrivals have come to work in agriculture, construction, and meat processing, as well as other industries. Counties, cities and towns have adopted very different approaches to the influx, creating borders that are rarely seen but widely understood: between documented and undocumented immigrants; between races and ethnicities, and each group’s rich and poor; between government institutions that are more welcoming or more exclusionary; and ultimately between those communities that treat immigrants as a blessing, and those that see them as a burden.
The goal of the Borders Beyond the Border project is to document and analyze the contemporary experience of immigrants in North Carolina through articles, documentary film, and photography. We do so through a range of collaborations involving Duke University faculty and students, journalists, community activists, and artists. Through in-depth journalism and documentary arts combined with a range of academic scholarship, Borders Beyond the Border aims to produce a body of work that will be both analytical and emotionally compelling, full of stories and characters, in the hopes of offering a deeper understanding of the changes occurring in North Carolina.
Andrew Bartuska, an undergraduate student in the Latino/a Voices in Duke, Durham, and Beyond class offered in the fall semester of 2016, describes his experience using service-learning and journalism to represent the Latinx immigrant community within Durham.
The Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University is a place where scholars and various publics – local, national, and global – can interact and intersect to generate greater exchange between the university and the broader world.